Courtesy Photo / Curt Goss
Students enrolled in church planting class will have the chance to connect with many other people groups who follow many different religions.
Oklahoma Baptist University is known for its academics, but also its mission to reach the lost.
One way that OBU is furthering the kingdom of God this semester is through a class called Cross-Cultural Church Planting, lead by professor of cross-cultural ministry Dr. Bruce Carlton.
“This is just an amazing opportunity that I would have never thought about” sophomore cross-cultural ministry major Hannah Butler said.
A key component of the students’ grades in the class is their capstone project.
This semester they have the opportunity to experience a church plant in Shawnee or Oklahoma City. There was also another option: students could write a fifteen-page paper about a hypothetical church plant.
Students who made the decision to participate in church plants have a number of opportunities to experience hands-on what planting church is like.
Butler, a student in the class, chose to work with the International Church of OKC.
“We will do prayer walks, sharing the gospel and really just pour into those people[’s] lives and come into their community” Butler said.
The students share the gospel with the communities surrounding their church plants.
While the students will be sharing the gospel and working to impact the lives of the communities they are in, Carlton expects students to be impacted on a personal level as well.
Carlton proposed the unique situation that God has placed his students in will force a number of them to step outside their comfort zone and lean on God more than they have before.
During this semester, students who are enrolled in the class will learn ecclesiology, which includes the basics of planting a church and the Biblical mandate to do so.
Students in the class will read books about starting churches and other areas of ecclesiology, then discuss the texts and how they relate to their on-the- ground experiences in class.
Recently, the students were given the assignment to write a paper on what they believed the ecclesiological minimum of a church was.
Carlton said that this could be one sentence, or it could be three pages. The only requirement was they look to the Bible to support their position.
Another recent assignment in the class was a full-class effort to separate the necessary and unnecessary theological foundations. This sparked debate in the class, but resulted in unity.
The students in Cross-Cultural Church Planting hope to grow spiritually this semester and learn the foundation of what a church plant is and needs to be.